The University of Hawai'i softball team (19-18, 4-4 Big West) battled hard but fell twice in Saturday's doubleheader at Long Beach State on Saturday afternoon. The Rainbow Wahine fell in the first game, 5-3 and 8-2 in the second game of the day. The league-leading 49ers improved to 31-9 overall and 8-0 in conference.
Long Beach State 5, Hawai'i 3
The 49ers scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Long Beach State loaded the bases with no outs on back-to-back singles and a beaned batter to start the frame. UH got the first out on a force out at the plate on a grounder to Jazmine Zamora at second. But Ashlynn Booker hit a single through the rightside of the infield to drive in two runs to give the 49ers the early lead.
In the bottom of the fifth Long Beach State added two uneared runs on RBI singles by Hannah DeGaetano and Booker to give the 49ers a 4-0 lead.
Hawai'i got one run back the top of the sixth. Leisha Li'ili'i and Kayla Wartner both battled for nine-pitch walks. Pinch runners Dori Ann Sugai and Kiani Wong both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After a strike out, Sarina Jaramillo drove in the run with an RBI groundout to shortstop. The 'Bows trailed, 4-1 after five-and-a-half innings.
LBSU got the run back in the bottom of the sixth. Sarah Carrasco led the inning off with a triple to the right-centerfield gap and Ashley Holmes followed with a double to the leftfield corner to make the score, 5-1.
But Hawai`i kept fighting, Keiki Carlos reached on a 2-out single to leftfield and Li`ili`i followed with a two-run, opposite-field blast over the leftfield fence. It marked the 11th home run of the year and 34th of the lefthanded slugger's career. The home run brought the 'Bows within two runs of the 49ers. Wartner followed Li`ili`i with her third walk of the day but Long Beach State's Erin Jones-Wesley got a strike out to thwart UH's comeback bid and end the game.
UH's Loie Kesterson threw a complete game in the loss. She tossed 6.0 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with no walks or strike outs She fell to 10-8 overall and 2-2 in conference.
LBSU's Jones-Wesley (17-4) also fired a complete game in the win. She gave up three runs on four hits--three of which were for extra bases--with eight walks and 11 strike outs in seven innings of work.
Long Beach State 8, Hawai'i 2
The Rainbow Wahine took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Zamora and Carlos hit back-to-back singles with one out to start the rally. Li`ili`i then drove in Zamora with a single back up the middle to take an early 1-0 lead.
Long Beach State tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on an RBI single with the bases loaded by Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi to score Darian Tautalafua from third.
Hawai'i then took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning via a rally on two. Sharla Kliebenstein struck out swinging, but on the play the catcher did not come up the with ball and the throw to first was late allowing Kliebenstein to reach safely. Sarina Jaramillo then hit a single to left to put two runners on. Then Ulu Matagiese singled to left and Kliebenstein raced around third. The throw beat Kliebenstein to the plate, but she jarred the ball loose sliding in safely to take the lead.
In the fifth inning, Long Beach State posted five runs to take command of the game. The 49ers loaded the bases on a single and two consecutive walks. Tautalafua then drove in Alexie Johnson for the first run of the inning. But the big blow was a grand slam off the bat of Sarah Carrasco to clear the bases. LBSU went on to load the bases again with one out, but the 'Bows got out of the jam with a fielder's choice ground out that erased the lead runner at the plate and a pop-up to short ended the rally.
The 49ers added two more runs in the sixth. Two LBSU runners reached on walks and with two outs, a ground ball bounced through the second baseman and to the right-centerfield fence which allowed both pinch runner Ashley Holmes and Tautalafua to score, giving Long Beach State an 8-2 lead.
Hawai'i's Heather Morales suffered the loss, dropping her record to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in conference. She gave up eight runs on 13 hits with five walks and one strike out. The loss, snapped Morales' three game win-streak.
LBSU's Hansen fired a complete game in the win, improving to 14-4 overall. She fired seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with no walks and nine strike outs.
The two teams will square off in the series' finale on Sunday with the first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. at the 49er Softball Complex